Pit Bulls » Why Does My Pitbull Snort?

Why Does My Pitbull Snort?

Snorting in Pitbulls, like any other dogs, can be puzzling. As a caring pet owner, you might have noticed your Pitbull exhibiting this behavior and are likely eager to discern the reasons behind it. Rest assured, understanding the possible causes can help you take care of your furry friend more effectively.

Several factors can contribute to your Pitbull’s snorting. By exploring the reasons behind your Pitbull’s snorting, you can better evaluate the situation and take appropriate action to maintain your dog’s overall well-being.

So if you want to learn more about it, keep on reading.

1. Because Of Their Unique Anatomy

Because Of Their Unique Anatomy

Pitbulls belong to the group of dog breeds known as brachycephalic breeds. These breeds are characterized by their short snouts and broad skulls. Other brachycephalic breeds include bull mastiffs, boxers, Boston terriers, English bulldogs, Pekinese, chow chows, and pugs. The unique skull shape of Pitbulls and other brachycephalic breeds gives them a distinct appearance and several particular traits.

The nasal passages of brachycephalic dogs like Pitbulls are shorter and more compact. This can lead to more resistance in airflow as air passes through their nostrils, resulting in snorting sounds when they breathe. Their shorter snouts can also mean that their noses have less surface area for nasal passages, which can make them more susceptible to irritation and snoring.

In addition to their nasal passage differences, Pitbulls also have larger tongues relative to the size of their mouths. This characteristic can further contribute to snorting and snoring sounds when they sleep or breathe heavily. It is essential to be aware of these anatomical differences in your Pitbull, as they can affect their overall respiratory health and comfort.

Being knowledgeable about your Pitbull’s unique anatomy will help you better understand the reasons behind their snorting. It will enable you to provide proper care and prevent any potential health related problems that may arise due to their brachycephalic traits. By understanding their anatomy, you can ensure that your Pitbull lives a comfortable and happy life.

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2. Reverse Sneezing

Reverse sneezing is a common reason for snorting in dogs, including Pitbulls. It’s characterized by a loud snorting sound and can be triggered by various factors such as allergies, respiratory infections, excitement, and irritants like dust, pollen, or perfumes. In most cases, reverse sneezing is harmless and does not require medical intervention.

When a dog reverse sneezes, it tends to stand still, keep their head and neck straight, and produce a loud snorting sound. The action is caused by irritation in the soft palate and throat muscles, leading to forceful inhalation. It is essential to differentiate reverse sneezing from more severe conditions like tracheal collapse.

To help your Pitbull during a reverse sneezing episode, you can try calming them by stroking their neck or offering water. While occasional reverse sneezing is usually not dangerous, it may be a good idea to consult your vet if the episodes become frequent or more severe, as this could indicate an underlying issue like allergies, nasal mites, or a foreign body stuck in the airway.

In conclusion, reverse sneezing is a common cause of snorting in Pitbulls and is usually harmless. However, monitoring the frequency and severity of episodes is an essential part of ensuring your dog’s overall health and well-being.

3. Allergies


Allergies can be a common reason for your Pitbull snorting. Your dog may be having allergic reactions due to environmental factors like pollen (most common one), dust, or mold. Exposure to these allergens may trigger snorting as a way for your Pitbull to clear its nasal passages and ease discomfort.

It is essential to observe your Pitbull for signs of allergic reaction, which may include excessive scratching, watery eyes, or inflamed skin. Identifying allergens and minimizing your dog’s exposure can help reduce snorting caused by allergies. Regular grooming can aid in removing allergens from their fur and prevent your Pitbull from inhaling them. Ensuring your home is clean and well-ventilated can also improve the overall air quality of your dog.

In some cases, allergies may require medical intervention. If you suspect that your Pitbull’s snorting is due to an allergic reaction and over-the-counter medications aren’t providing relief, consult with your veterinarian. They can help assess the issue and prescribe specific medication or recommend dietary changes to alleviate your dog’s allergic symptoms.

Remember to monitor your Pitbull’s reaction to allergens and make necessary adjustments to their surroundings. By doing so, you can help minimize snorting caused by allergies and ensure your dog’s comfort and well-being.

4. Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections can be another reason for your Pitbull’s snorting behavior. These infections can be caused by various viral and bacterial pathogens that enter their oral and nasal cavities. When your Pitbull is infected, it may experience inflammation and a buildup of mucus in their respiratory tract, which can lead to snorting.

Respiratory infections in dogs are typically highly contagious. They are transmitted when infectious dogs come into contact with other dogs or share contaminated objects. Be cautious when exposing your Pitbull to other dogs, especially if any signs of illness are present, such as coughing, sneezing, or nasal discharge.

If you suspect your Pitbull is suffering from a respiratory infection, you should get veterinary care as soon as possible. Signs of infection may include snorting, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and nasal discharge. Early treatment is crucial to prevent any type of big health issues and ensure a smoother recovery process for your dog.

To prevent respiratory infections in your Pitbull, ensure that it is up-to-date on vaccinations as recommended by your veterinarian. Moreover, practice good hygiene by regularly cleaning your dog’s bedding, toys, and other belongings. This will help reduce the chances of your Pitbull coming into contact with contagious pathogens.

In summary, respiratory infections can cause snorting in Pitbulls due to inflammation and mucus buildup. It is essential to consult your veterinarian if you observe any signs of respiratory issues and practice preventive measures to keep your dog healthy and infection-free.

5. Environmental Factors

Different factors in the environment can be a significant contributor to snorting in your Pitbull. Some of the common elements that can cause this are:

Air Pollutants

Exposure to irritants and air pollutants, such as smoke, dust, and strong odors, may cause your Pitbull to snort. These irritants can cause inflammation or blockage in their airway, leading to snorting as they try to clear their nasal passages.

Preventative Measures: To protect your Pitbull from air pollutants, consider using air purifiers in your home and avoid smoking around them. Also, clean your living space regularly to minimize dust accumulation.

Foreign Objects

In some cases, snorting may be caused by foreign objects or materials lodged in your Pitbull’s nasal passages. These can create an obstruction in the airflow, causing your dog to snort as they attempt to clear their airway.

What to Do: If you suspect that your dog has gotten a foreign object in their nose, seek veterinary assistance to remove it safely.


Your Pitbull’s sleeping environment, particularly their bedding, may also play a role in their snorting. Dust or allergens in their bed can irritate their airways and cause snorting.

Recommendations: Consider using hypoallergenic bedding materials and wash your dog’s bed frequently to minimize allergens and irritants.

Sleeping Posture

Sleeping Posture

Lastly, your Pitbull’s sleeping posture may affect their airway and cause snorting. If they sleep on their back, their tongue could partly block their windpipe, leading to snorting noises.

Prevent Snorting: Encourage your Pitbull to sleep on their side or belly. A round bed may help facilitate a more comfortable sleeping position, which can alleviate snorting during sleep.

6. Communication Method

Your Pitbull might snort as a means of communication. Dogs use a variety of noises to express themselves, and snorting can be one of them. This could be your Pitbull’s way of getting your attention, or trying to tell you they are excited, curious, or playful. It is essential to observe their body language in conjunction with the snorting to better understand what they’re trying to communicate.

Sometimes, snorting could be your Pitbull’s response to external stimuli, such as a strong smell or something that tickles their nasal passages. This snorting behavior can be seen in other breeds as well. However, it is more common in breeds like Pitbulls due to their relatively short nasal structures.

In addition to regular snorting, your Pitbull might also experience reverse sneezing. This sounds similar to snorting, but is caused by a spasm in your dog’s soft palate and throat, as we discussed it earlier in the article.

It is important to stay attentive to your Pitbull’s snorting and any changes in frequency or intensity. While snorting can be a natural communication method for your dog, it could also be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as allergies, breathing difficulties, or infections. If you have noticed any changes in your dog’s snorting or overall health, it is wise to consult a veterinarian for professional advice

7. Something Stuck In Their Nose

Something Stuck In Their Nose

Your Pitbull may snort if there’s something stuck in their nose. It is not uncommon for dogs to accidentally inhale small objects like seeds, grass, or even tiny insects while exploring their environment. This can cause irritation and lead to snorting as they try to dislodge the foreign object.

To help your Pitbull, you can try monitoring their behavior for any signs of distress or difficulty breathing. If the snorting continues and you suspect there might be something lodged inside, it’s best to seek professional advice from a veterinarian to avoid any potential complications.

Keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure. To minimize the chances of your Pitbull inhaling foreign objects, be attentive while they play outside. Ensure that their play area is clear of debris and potentially harmful materials. Regular maintenance and cleaning can go a long way in preventing such issues.

Lastly, remember to remain calm and patient with your Pitbull. Snorting can be a distressing experience for both you and your pet. Maintain a supportive and calming presence to help them through the situation.

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Author: Matthias

Hey all! I’m Matthias and I love Pit Bulls (as you probably can guess lol). Until a couple years ago I had Blaze next to me while writing the articles for this blog and he was my inspiration, he still is but - hopefully - from a better life 🙂

I am not a veterinarian or veterinary health care specialist, so nothing in this blog should be taken or used as a substitute for professional help. Use our content as information to have a basic understanding about Pit Bulls but always look for expert advice, specifically when treating or diagnosing your Pittie.

Hope my articles are of any help to you, your family and especially your Pit Bull. Thanks for stopping by, enjoy!

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